Jul 27 2009
I have to admit, as a security professional, I’ve been woefully lacking in my exploration of the 4chan site. More accurately, I’ve been unwilling to stick my nose into what is known as one of the most disturbing and contentious sites on the entirety of the Internet. I know what 4chan is and have a number of friends who spend significant amounts of time there, but I’ve never had the need or desire to explore or spend any time on the site. But one thing I do know about 4chan is that you don’t want to stir up it’s denizens and find yourself on the receiving end of more unsavory attention than you even knew existed. Apparently AT&T didn’t understand that basic tenet of the Internet and started blocking 4chan in SoCal over the weekend, nearly creating a digital uprising they not have been able to handle. Luckily for them, they relented and unblocked 4chan before the real storm started.
4chan’s members range from web neophytes to some of the most talented hackers out there. The last time 4chan was in the news was this April when they gamed a Time poll to find the top 100 most influential people. Talent aside, just the sheer number of people who use the 4chan site worldwide is enough to cause a serious problem for AT&T, especially given their excitable nature. And all it would have taken on AT&T’s part to avert this disaster is a little bit of transparency, provided their reasons for blocking the site in the first place were authentic.